May 12, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The 18th-ranked LSU women’s tennis team returns to the courts for its third-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament under co-head coaches Julia Sell and Michael Sell against Columbia at 9 a.m. CT Friday at the University of Virginia’s Snyder Tennis Center.
“We are looking forward to the opening round match against Columbia,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “The girls are out of school now and solely focused on playing this match. They are ready to get back on the courts and compete.”
LSU has continued its progression under Julia and Michael with an 18-11 record this season. The Lady Tigers reached an all-time best team ranking three times this season, including a ranking of ninth in March.
At the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament in April, the team took down No. 23 Kentucky, 4-3, in the second round. The Lady Tigers then fell to the eventual champion Florida Gators in the quarterfinal.
Junior Joana Vale Costa has led the way for LSU on court one all season. Vale Costa earned her second bid into the NCAA Singles Championships and was also named to the All-SEC first team.
Freshman Jessica Golovin has held down court two in her first year on campus. The New York, New York native was named to the All-SEC freshman team and is the first alternate for the NCAA Singles Championships.
Junior Abby Owens owns a 30-8 record overall and is 21-5 in dual matches. The Duluth, Georgia native became the 16th player in school history to reach the 30-win mark in a single season with a win in the second round of the SEC Tournament.
This marks the first ever match between LSU and Columbia. The 36th-ranked Lions hold a 13-8 record and earned an at-large bid to the championships.
Senior Kanika Vaidya was named the IVY League Player of the Year after finishing with a 19-1 record in the spring and 7-0 record in conference play. Vaidya heads into Friday on an 18-match win streak, which includes a win over sixth-ranked Stephanie Wanger of Miami.
The winner of the LSU and Columbia match will take on the winner of Virginia and Fairleigh-Dickson. The second round match will take place at 2 p.m. CT Saturday, May 14 with the winner advancing to the Round of 16 in Tulsa, Oklahoma May 19-24.
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program, follow us on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
2016 NCAA Tennis Championship – Charlottesville Regional
Friday, May 13
9 a.m. – LSU vs. Columbia
12 p.m.* – No. 14 Virginia vs. Farleigh Dickinson
Saturday, May 14
2 p.m.* – Women’s Second Round